Metal Spinning

Exploring the Skills and Techniques of Heavy Metal Spinners

Metal spinning refers to the metalworking process of forming axially symmetrical rounded shapes by spinning a sheet of metal around a mandrel. Metalworking creates everything from large structural components to intricate parts for various industries. However, metal spinners must possess several skills, including precision and attention to detail to create parts that meet strict safety and performance requirements needed for these industries. 

The Art of Metal Spinning

Metal spinning dates back to the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs but has progressively advanced over the years. A roller is placed against the surface of the workpiece, and a mandrel spins on its axis at high speed. The resulting lateral force deforms the workpiece, creating different shapes without stripping away materials from the metal sheet. 

Spin forming and steel turning production in creative style expression

Metal spinning can deform a wide range of metals, including some that other methods, such as metal stamping, cannot form. Below is an overview of commonly used materials in metal spinning:


Common products manufactured from metal spinning aluminum include funnels, kitchenware, furniture, components for electronic devices, cooking utensils, decorative parts, and drums.


Spun stainless steel is used to construct tanks, pressure vessels, and processing equipment. 


Common span brass parts include electronic appliances, musical instruments, pipes and fittings, furniture, and structural components. 


Common parts created through spinning the material include musical instruments, engine parts, trophies, structural components, and sculptures. 


This chromium, nickel, and molybdenum alloy is widely used in creating parts for power plants, oil and petroleum refineries, aerospace, and automotive industries. 

Essential skills of metal spinners

Essential skills required in metal spinning include:

Precision Craftsmanship and Attention to Detail

Precision craftsmanship involves doing skillful and detailed work with excellence. Metal spinning usually involves creating intricate components that require an artisan with an eye for detail. 

Ability to Work Within Tight Tolerances

Tolerances refer to the limits on the amount of something that can vary from its specification. Artisans must work within tight tolerances when required to produce parts that consistently fit together and create less room for error during assembly.  

Problem-Solving and Improvisation Skills

Different challenges can arise during a metal spinning process. With problem-solving and improvisation skills, the metal spinner can devise creative ways to perform the metal working process. 

Tools and Equipment Utilized in Heavy Metal Spinning

Tools and Equipment Utilized in Heavy Metal Spinning

Traditional Hand Tools and Specialized Machinery

Below are the components of traditional metal spinning tools and equipment:

  • Mandrel

This tool supports the workpiece and gives it the required shape or volume.

  • Roller

The roller is a rigid metal spinning tool that provides lateral force to where the material deformation takes place. 

  • Lathe Bed

This equipment supports the tailstock, headstocks, and other components of the metal spinning machine. 

  • Headstock

The headstock facilitates the transformation of the power needed to drive the spindles. 

  • Tailstock

The tailstock clamps the workpiece against the mandrel during the spinning process. 

  • Spindle

The shaft rotates the mandrel and the metal sheet during formation. 

  • Follower

The follower clamps the metal sheet in place and occupies an area corresponding to the area of the base of the finished part. 

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Spin-Forming Technology

CNC spinning is an upgrade of the manual metal spinning process. It is a more automated process that controls metal spinning using a lathe. 

Once activated, the CNC lathe rotates and presses the metal sheet against the molds forcing the workpiece to take the shape of the molds. CNC metal spinning produces more accurate parts, minimizing the risk of defects. The high level of accuracy and repeatability improves the overall quality of the finished product. 

Techniques and Approaches in Heavy Metal Spinning

The Initial Shaping Process

The blank preparation process involves lubricating the workpiece with wax or grease to make it easier to remove. Lubrication also improves the surface finish of the workpiece. Once the workpiece is ready for spinning, the next step involves laying it down onto the mandrel and performing inside and outside moves. 

Refining the Shape

Spinning methods used include shear spinning and hot spinning. Shear spinning involves exerting a downward force on the metal sheet as it moves over the contour of the mandrel. 

If the material is too thick or has low ductility and malleability, it may undergo hot spinning, where a heating torch is directed toward the workpiece, increasing its temperature. If the required part has a complex geometry, the metalworking processes can incorporate other techniques such as necking, expanding, and metal forming. 

Finishing Touches

The metal spinning process typically produces sharp and ragged edges. Smoothing, leveling, and trimming are done to ensure uniformity and consistency in the final product. After trimming the edges, the beading process smoothens the edge to ensure it is rounded and safe.  


The Importance of Training and Experience among metal spinners

Worker using Metal Lathe

Apprenticeships and Learning from Master Metal Spinners

Training offers an opportunity for professional interaction with master metal spinners. You learn their success strategies, skills developed over time, and how they handle complex projects. Apprenticeships also offer hands-on metal spinning experience while learning and earning a wage. 

Continual Skill Development and Staying Updated with Industry Advancements

The metal spinning industry keeps changing. New technologies and techniques are emerging while customers are becoming more specific about their desired designs. Training and experience ensure you stay updated with recent advancements in the industry. You’ll also develop new skills to handle more complex design requirements. 

Case Studies and Success Stories of Metal Spinning

Metal spinning through skilled craftsmen has facilitated the production of complex and intricate parts for various industries. The Selfridges clothing store in Birmingham, United Kingdom, is an example of a successful metal spinning project in the architecture and building industry. The iconic structure uses more than 15,000 stainless steel discs created by skilled metal spinners. 

Work with Expert Metal Spinners

Metal spinners are the drivers of the heavy metal spinning process. Their skills and expertise set apart good products from great products. Craftsmen should be innovative, great problem solvers, have an eye for detail, and have the ability to work within tight tolerances. 

At Glenn Metalcraft, we are industry leaders in close tolerance, heavy-gauge, and high-quality metal spinning. With the help of our team of metal spinning experts, we can recommend specific materials for new parts and components, offer engineering design reviews, and cost-cutting ideas for manufacture. Contact Glenn Metalcraft for a free estimate and learn how we can be your manufacturing partner.

Metal Spinning

Why Metal Spinning Is a Cost-Effective Solution for Manufacturing Complex Parts

Unleashing the Potential of Metal Spinning

Metal spinning is a dynamic manufacturing process that has long been revered for its ability to produce complex parts with precision and efficiency. By utilizing the principles of mechanical force and skilled craftsmanship, this metal fabrication technique enables the formation of intricate shapes from flat sheets or preformed metal blanks. 

In this article, you will delve into this process, exploring its applications, benefits, and cost-effectiveness in manufacturing complex parts. Whether you’re an engineer seeking innovative fabrication methods or a professional in the metalworking industry, understanding the fundamentals and advantages of metal spinning is crucial for staying at the forefront of modern manufacturing techniques. Learn more about the incredible potential and practicality that metal spinning brings to complex part production.

Discover the power of metal spinning for manufacturing complex parts with Glenn Metalcraft. Our team specializes in providing tailored solutions that offer design flexibility, cost savings, and exceptional quality. Read on to explore the foundations of this remarkable manufacturing technique and understand how it can revolutionize your complex part production.

The Basics

Metal spinning, also known as spin forming or spin turning, is a highly versatile manufacturing process that utilizes mechanical force to shape metal into complex parts. This metal-turning process involves rotating a metal disk or preformed blank on a spinning lathe while applying force with specialized tools. As the metal spins, it is formed over a mandrel or a pre-existing mold, gradually taking the desired shape.

The primary tools used to accomplish this precision forming technique include a spinning lathe, which provides the rotational motion to the metal, and various forming tools such as rollers, pressure pads, and necking tools. The choice of material plays a crucial role, with commonly used metals including aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and brass. The material’s malleability and ductility are critical factors for success.

The process of metal spinning offers unique advantages, allowing for the creation of seamless, symmetrical, and intricate shapes that are often challenging to achieve through other manufacturing methods. By understanding the basics and the required equipment and materials, you can gain insight into the remarkable capabilities of this manufacturing technique and how it can revolutionize the production of complex parts. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the advantages and cost-effectiveness of this metal-forming technique, providing valuable insights for your manufacturing needs.

Advantages of Metal Spinning for Complex Parts

Metal Spinning for Complex Parts

Metal spinning offers a multitude of advantages that make it a highly favorable solution for manufacturing complex parts. Let’s explore some of these advantages:


One of the key strengths of this process is its ability to create a wide range of shapes and sizes for complex parts. Whether cylindrical, conical, hemispherical, or intricate geometries, metal spinning can achieve seamless, symmetrical, and precision-formed components that might be challenging or cost-prohibitive with other manufacturing methods.

Cost Savings

Metal spinning presents significant cost savings compared to alternative manufacturing techniques. One major factor is the minimal material waste during the spinning process. Unlike subtractive methods such as machining, metal spinning starts with a preformed blank closely matching the final shape, resulting in minimal material loss. Additionally, the efficiency of this process also leads to reduced labor costs and streamlined production, contributing to overall cost-effectiveness.

Time Efficiency

The spinning process is known for its efficiency, enabling faster production and shorter lead times. It eliminates the need for complex tooling setups and extensive machining processes, resulting in quicker turnaround times for complex parts. The streamlined workflow from design to the finished product allows for efficient production scaling, making metal spinning ideal for meeting tight deadlines and fast-paced manufacturing environments.

Design Flexibility

Metal spinning offers unparalleled design flexibility, enabling customization and design modifications during production runs. Unlike rigid molds or dies, this process allows for incremental adjustments, accommodating design changes without significant retooling costs. This flexibility is especially valuable in industries where rapid prototyping, product iteration, and customization are essential.

With its versatility, cost savings, time efficiency, and design flexibility, metal spinning is a compelling solution for manufacturing complex parts. By harnessing these advantages, businesses can achieve high-quality components, optimize production costs, and meet diverse design requirements. 

Considerations and Limitations

Considerations and Limitations of metal spinning

While metal spinning offers numerous advantages, it is important to be aware of certain considerations and limitations when utilizing this technique for complex part manufacturing. Let’s explore these factors:

Potential limitations or constraints

Metal spinning may have limitations depending on the specific requirements of the complex parts. For instance, parts with very thick or thin walls may present challenges due to material deformation or stability issues during spinning. Additionally, highly complex geometries with intricate features or sharp corners may require additional machining or secondary operations to achieve the desired results. It is crucial to carefully evaluate the feasibility of this fabrication technique for each unique part design.

Influencing Factors for Cost-Effectiveness

Several factors can influence the cost-effectiveness of metal spinning for complex parts. Material selection plays a significant role, as different metals have varying malleability, ductility, and cost levels. Additionally, the complexity of the part design can impact cost-effectiveness, as highly intricate or unique shapes may require more time and specialized tooling. Considering the scalability of production is also important, as larger quantities may warrant upfront investments in tooling or automation to optimize cost efficiency.

By understanding the potential limitations and considering influencing factors such as material selection and part complexity, manufacturers can effectively navigate the implementation of metal spinning for complex part production. With careful assessment and appropriate planning, you can maximize the benefits of metal spinning while minimizing any potential limitations. 

Collaborate With the Experts

cost-effective solution for manufacturing complex parts

Metal spinning stands as a cost-effective solution for manufacturing complex parts that deliver exceptional results. By harnessing the versatility, efficiency, and design flexibility of metal spinning, businesses can achieve significant cost savings, reduced material waste, and streamlined production processes. The ability to produce intricate shapes and sizes with precision and customization further enhances the value of metal spinning. 

Embrace the advantages of metal spinning, collaborate with experienced specialists, and unlock the full potential of this remarkable technique to revolutionize your complex part manufacturing with Glenn Metalcraft. Contact us with questions or request a free quote if you already have a project in mind.

Metal Spinning

GMI Delivers Superior Metal Spinning

Founded in 1947, Glenn Metalcraft Inc. (GMI) provides high-quality expertise and services to countless businesses. GMI became one of the first U.S. companies to invest in innovative CNC spin technology to present clients with superior metal spinning services. It remains committed to a high standard of excellence and customer satisfaction.

By prioritizing the relationship between Glenn Metalcraft’s employees and customers, GMI delivers quality customer service and skilled craftsmanship to ensure it meets every customer’s needs. In addition to superior metal spinning services, GMI’s roster of metal industry experts allows the firm to recommend the best materials for new products, review engineering designs, and create cost-reduction solutions.

Your success is Glenn Metalcraft Inc.’s success. But don’t just take our word for it ‒ contact us today and learn more about what makes GMI a superior metal spinning company.

Superior Metal Spinning

Metal Industry lathe machine work

Metal spinning, also called spin forming, spinning, or metal turning is the process of rotating a tube or disc of metal at a high speed and applying localized pressure to shape the metal, which is similar to the method used in clay pottery. The process, which creates an axially symmetrical product, can be done by hand or performed by a machine.

Artisans and commercial companies use metal spinning to produce high-quality metal parts for various industries, including home goods, science and technology, and automobiles.

The metal spinning process is cost-effective and produces very little material waste. 

Any form of ductile metal can be used in metal spinning, such as aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, brass, Hastelloy, Inconel, and titanium. The diameter for metal spun through this process can range between one inch to eight feet.

How Does It Work?

Examples of spinning tools litter history. The Ancient Egyptians used manual spinning techniques to create everyday tools or build architectural masterpieces. The process shifted in the Middle Ages to metalwork and would eventually become the machine-operated precision heavy gauge metal spinning it is today.

To begin the spinning process with a CNC machine, a pre-cut sheet of metal also called a blank, is clamped between the mandrel and tailstock of the spinning machine. A primary drive rotates the mandrel and tailstock as a spinning roller performs a series of passes over the block to change its shape.

A skilled hand spinner can also manually spin and shape a piece of metal by applying a roller by hand.

Advantages of Using GMI

A worker operating a metal spinning machine

By using Glenn Metalcraft Inc., you can expect to receive the highest-quality metal spun parts at great prices. GMI’s employees are focused on forging strong relationships with customers to provide the best service possible. Some advantages to working with Glenn Metalcraft Inc. include: 

  • its efficient work center equipped with a mechanical workhorse and a CNC lathe 
  • access to GMI’s metal spinning experts 
  • cost-effective solutions for the OEM industry
  • incredible customer service from the moment you create an order

GMI’s Work Center and CNC Lathe

GMI has increased capacity by adding the 48 ROBOT – R 2000IB 165F to its workspace, which can handle large, heavy parts throughout the shop. This mechanical workhorse speeds up production time by allowing GMI employees to focus on quickly and efficiently creating your product with the company’s CNC metal spinning machine.

GMI’s CNC metal spinning machine is programmed to inspect parts for quality control to ensure every component created meets the highest standard. The machine is capable of in-cell deburring, has flexible pack-out options, and is equipped with two vacuum circuits and two pressure circuits. 

This machine can perform different processes without needing additional tools so that clients can set up with GMI under one purchase order. The CNC machine creates parts with maximum accuracy, flexibility, and efficiency in a short amount of time, ensuring GMI’s customers receive the best product as quickly as possible.

GMI is always looking for new ways to increase efficiency and introduce innovative technology to continue to meet customer’s evolving needs.

Metal Spinning Experts

Superior metal spinning on a CNC machine

A machine is only as good as the person operating it. At Glenn Metalcraft Inc., our craftsmen work with our equipment within tight tolerances to meet each customer’s specifications and standards. Our craftsmen are also skilled in robotic welding, punching, automated machining, assembly, and waterjet cutting. 

GMI’s employees have mastered the latest innovations and technology in the metal spinning industry to provide customers with the best and most reliable parts. GMI is part of the Elemet Group of metalworking companies, which provides access to GMI’s sister companies, Minnesota Industrial Coatings, and Elemet Manufacturing, to offer additional finishing and fabricating services to interested clients.

Steel-Forged Customer Relationships

Close up of handshake in the office

As a local, family-owned business, GMI understands the importance of the relationship between company and customer. You can count on communicating with staff members who see your success as their personal triumph and who will work hard to ensure they meet every one of your needs.

Because Glenn Metalcraft Inc. wants to grow in the right direction, GMI ensures every type of work accepted fits into the company’s overarching beliefs and goals. GMI knows how critical it is to choose the business that will fit the needs of your company.

GMI has locations in Fort Worth, Texas, and Princeton, Minnesota, with customers located nationwide. GMI is a business-to-business (B2B) company and is excited to work with your company.

Get Started With GMI Today

Sheet metal forming on a CNC machine

Let GMI’s expert craftsmen help you succeed with superior metal spinning services, access to industry-leading metalwork expertise, and innovative technology. GMI prioritizes consistency, excellence, and accuracy for every job.

GMI made providing innovative solutions to customers’ metalwork needs its mission. The company is constantly adding capabilities, automation, and capacity. It is committed to giving customers an environment of respect where they are allowed to grow and develop. The firm strives for success which translates into a desire to see its customers succeed, ensuring beneficial and lasting relationships.

Glenn Metalcraft not only serves as a leader in its industry because of the innovative and cutting-edge technology and equipment used by highly trained professionals. But also because GMI wants to provide the best experience and products for its customers.

Get started with Glenn Metalcraft and get an estimate today.

Metal Spinning

An Introduction To Metal Spinning

Metal spinning, sometimes called spin forming, has been around for centuries and can be traced back to an Egyptian Pharaoh’s tomb. Fascinating – but what is it? What the Egyptians accomplished with manually operated lathes, the Industrial Revolution motorized and gave birth to new possibilities.

Spinning, forming, turning… all names for precision heavy gauge metal spinning, and Glenn Metalcraft is the expert. Contact us about your OEM project today.

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What Is Metal Spinning?

The metalworking process known as “metal spinning” goes by many different names, such as spin forming, metal forming, metal turning, CNC metal spinning, or just “spinning.”

Metal spinning is a process whereby a sheet of metal, cut into a flat metal disc, or blank, is formed into different symmetrical rounded shapes through spinning it around a mandrel. A mandrel is a shaft or spindle in a spinning lathe or a CNC spinning metal lathe to form the metal disc’s desired metal parts.

The most common shapes produced from the metal spinning process are:

  • Conical (cone-shaped)
  • Dished
  • Domed
  • Cylindrical (lid-shaped)
  • Flanged; flanged and flued; or flanged, dished, and flued
  • Hemispherical (half of a sphere)
  • Parabolic (bell-shaped)
  • Semi-elliptical
  • Toroidal (donut-shaped)
  • Trumpeted
  • Venturi (hourglass-shaped)

We use many different porous metals to achieve these desired shapes through metal spinning. Common materials include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and brass. High-strength and high-temperature alloys, such as Hastelloy and titanium, are also becoming more popular, creating more durable metal parts.

Metal spinning produces parts that touch almost every part of your life. We use these in roofing, commercial lighting, satellite dishes, cooking pots and pans, and even funeral urns.

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Alternatives To Metal Spinning

Alternatives to metal spinning include hydroforming, stamping, and deep drawn stamping.

While these alternatives can form many of the same shapes as metal spinning, the processes are very different. For starters, these other options all use different methods to craft the metal into the shapes using negative shapes.

Hydroforming uses high-pressure hydraulic fluid to press the metal into a negative form to achieve the desired metal parts.

Stamping and deep drawn stamping use forced pressure to create the shapes by pushing the metal disc into a negative space.

Metal spinning is the only one that uses “positive space” to craft the shape around a piece to achieve the desired result.

Advantages Of Metal Spinning

Metal spinning is one of the most cost-effective methods of forming metal shapes for small-volume and large-volume production. This cost-effectiveness is the highest reason that it’s so popular.

What other advantages does metal spinning offer over its alternatives?

Less machining and finishing needed to finish the job

Because of the high spinning rate needed to form the desired shape, less machining is needed after the part is formed with the CNC lathe. Metal parts finish smoother, and the need for these extra finishing tools is reduced.

Quicker set-up

Your company can also get set up for metal spinning much more quickly than the alternatives you’ve already read about. Because of this, lead times are reduced.

Maximum design flexibility and more versatility for changes

If you need a design change, it can be made much more quickly with the metal spinning process. This flexibility cuts out “downtime” for your project, should a change need to be made. This is also why metal spinning is perfect for prototyping and small-volume and large-volume production runs.

More uniform finished products

Metalworkers who create parts through the metal spinning process often cite that they have much more control over the finished product, including the finished piece’s thickness.

Less waste

Finally, because of how the metal is spun, waste is reduced. This also makes metal spinning much more eco-friendly than the other methods you have read about above. In some cases, you can even use recycled materials as the “blanks” for your metal parts.

Higher quality parts

Because of the process of metal spinning, parts are formed without any seams. This seamlessness means that these parts are less likely to “break apart” under high-stress conditions.

What Industries Benefit From Your Metal Spinning Process?

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Metal spinning parts touch almost every industry in the world.

Common industries, though, include:

  • Aeronautics and Aerospace
  • Agricultural & Farming Equipment
  • Appliances & Appliance Manufacturing
  • Architectural, Building, & Construction
  • Automotive
  • Bulk Solid Handling & Supply Chain Logistics
  • Chemical Processing
  • Commercial Lighting
  • Commercial Vehicles
  • Communications
  • Electrical
  • Energy
  • Food Processing
  • Food Service
  • HVAC, Air Filtration, & Air Handling
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Lighting
  • Marine
  • Material Handling
  • Medical
  • Pollution Control
  • Railroad
  • Recreational equipment
  • Refrigeration
  • Retail Fixtures
  • Roofing
  • Safety Products
  • Sanitation
  • Transportation
  • Welding

No matter what industry you are in, however, Glenn Metalcraft is the expert when it comes to precision heavy gauge metal spinning. Contact us about your OEM project today. We answer inquiries for RFPs/RFQs within 48 hours or 2 business days.